Angela Raiola aka “Big Ang” died on Thursday surrounded by her family. She was 55.
As Mob Wives viewers will recall, Raiola had been battling a terminal diagnosis of lung and brain cancer. People reports that estranged husband Neil Murphy was among the loved ones at Raiola’s bedside on Thursday.
“He’s part of her life,” Mob Wives co-star Cara Facciolo tells People. “He’s still her husband, you know? I don’t know if they got back together, but to Ang, when she throws somebody off her for a little bit, they’re always back in. She takes in people.”
Murphy tweeted a photo of the couple in happier days with the message, “I will always love you forever please watch over the grandkids I know you will” from his account @MrBigAngVH1.
I will always love you forever please watch over the grandkids I know you will 💔 pic.twitter.com/HU99EHM4nf
— Neil Murphy (@MrBigAngVH1) February 18, 2016
According to Facciolo, he was “there the whole time” as Raiola’s family said goodbye. Raiola and Murphy had appeared together on Couple’s Therapy and Celebrity Wife Swap to address their marital problems, including Murphy’s inability to support his wife during her illness.
Raiola appeared on Dr. Oz to discuss her illness just this week. Her diagnosis was “shocking,” she told Dr. Oz. “Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be fine,” she said. “And sometimes I just don’t think I am.”
Facciolo put a positive spin on her friend’s passing. “[Ang is] probably serving martinis for everyone at the [heaven’s] door,” she tells People.
Raiola leaves behind her daughter Raquel, son Anthony, and six grandchildren.